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High School | General | 4/16/2019

High School Notebook: April 16

Vincent Cervino         Greg Gerard         Britt Smith         Steve Fiorindo        
Photo: Brett Thomas (Perfect Game)

The high school notebook is designed to share notes and video on players that stand out during the high school season and new features will be released regularly. This will include in-game looks, reports, analysis and video from Perfect Game's scouting staff. If you have news on a player in your area that is performing at a high level that we should have eyes on please reach out to Vinnie Cervino at Also feel free to share your video highlights on Twitter @vcervinopg.

High School Notebooks: March 1 | March 5 | March 15 | March 22 | April 5

Brett Thomas, RHP, Riverwood International Charter School (Ga.)
Thomas was the starter for the Riverwood Raiders on Wednesday night against Decatur High School in a huge Georgia High School Association Region 6 5A matchup. Thomas faced a talented lineup that took a really nice approach facing him in this matchup. As for Thomas, however, his fastball reached 95 mph multiple times while staying in the 91-95 mph range for the first three innings of his six inning start. The fastball is straight but it works on a steep downhill plane to the plate. He did have some command issues with the fastball in this outing but the curveball was his go-to pitch for retiring hitters and producing swings-and-misses.

He tallied up 12 strikeouts and the curveball was the weapon with each of them. The breaking ball sat in the 83-85 mph range with sharp downward bite from a similar tunnel as his fastball. The pitch has lots of depth and really tight spin showing as an above average pitch frequently and a plus pitch on several of the offerings as well. He also featured a changeup that he flashed and did not throw very often. The pitch lived around the 87 mph mark while staying straight to the plate much like the fastball.

The delivery is really simple as he only throws from the stretch. The South Carolina signee takes his arm back to a full arm action and releases from an over the top slot to create that downhill plane on the fastball. There is plenty of balance to his delivery as he stays online with his lower half to the plate as his upper half does lean towards the first base side to allow his arm to come through. Although Thomas does so, he still maintains balance and is able to repeat his delivery relatively well. He did run into some command issues with his fastball and this was usually due to the arm dragging as it worked through the throwing motion of the arm circle. He was able to go to his curveball, however, and really offer up a pitch to hitters that they could not touch.

Gavin Collyer, RHP, Mountain View High School (Ga.)
Getting the start in his regularly scheduled Monday stint, Gavin Collyer was pretty masterful in this stint while working around several walks. Collyer exited the game allowing no hits and striking out 13 hitters in six innings of work. The skinny 6-foot-1 righthander had an overpowering fastball in this contest as well as a pair of secondaries that were each a out pitch of their own.

His fastball topped out at 95 mph while sitting in the 91-94 mph range in his first inning on the bump. The remainder of the game Collyer sat 89-92 while still producing velocity that was getting swings and misses all night long. Tallying up 16 swings and misses on fastball in his 6 innings, Collyer really did a nice job of attacking the zone and missing bats. His command did become erratic occasionally as he did have a tendency to lose his fastball command at times. The impressive thing was, however, that Collyer would fix his mechanical tendencies of letting his arm drag or rush his up-tempo delivery and come back to retire hitters with ease.

The secondary offerings were just as impressive as the slider flashed plus a couple of times and was the primary out pitch for him to tally up his 13 strikeouts. The pitch is relatively short but sharp and bites very late on its ride to the plate flashing a 60 slider while showing mostly a 50-grade slider on the MLB scouting scale. He only tossed it a pair of times but his changeup is an interesting pitch as he is capable of retiring lefthanders with it as its deceptive and can really be a weapon as he develops it more in the future.

Collyer, as mentioned, has an uptempo delivery and one that allows his arm to work extremely quickly through the back and creates a tough of angle to the plate for hitters of either handedness. It’s a slightly closed delivery as Collyer lands but the arm speed and overall feel for pitching is certainly intriguing for the Clemson commit. He works downhill with drop and drive actions that, combined with his arm speed, allow for the fastball to reach the mid-90s. He works quickly in between pitches and pitches off of his fastball. Collyer is relatively young for the class and is a really high follow name for this year’s MLB Draft.

Greg Gerard

Hagen Smith, LHP, Bullard HS (Texas)
Hagen Smith, a sophomore from Bullard High School (Texas), has been a pleasant surprise this spring. The Oklahoma State commit has matured physically and has begun to fill into the long and slender frame he possessed as a freshman. Standing 6-foot-2 and 190-pounds, he has emerged as a consistent addition to the starting rotation for the Panthers. Smith works from a full three-quarters arm-slot with a quick and whippy arm action. Presently sitting comfortably in the 87-89 mph range, he will bump 90 mph well into his outings and shows average command of his fastball to both halves of the plate. At times, his fastball will show quick and darting arm-side run but is mostly straight to his extension side.

Smith’s changeup presently shows above average and flashes the potential of being a plus pitch in the future. Thrown with extremely solid hand speed and conviction, the offering shows good depth and complimentary arm-side fade with late down action in the 76-78 mph range. Smith’s breaking ball is more of a slurve presently and sits in the low-70s consistently. With 2-to-8 shape and on occasion harder biting downer action, his curveball certainly can improve with more conviction and trust, but it is presently his third best pitch.

There are physical aspects that can improve such as the use of his lower half, his flexibility levels, and extension through release but there is also a lot to like. Smith maintains direction and does not appear to have to put too much effort in the delivery to generate his velocity. He is still maturing and already displays the ability to carry his velocity late into games. As with most young pitchers, there are areas that can improve but unlike a lot of his high school counterparts, there are the requisite skills and physical abilities present to do it. Smith has not peaked by any means and will certainly be one to follow over the next couple of years.

– Britt Smith

Tyler Callihan, SS/3B, Providence HS (Fla.)
PG All-American Tyler Callihan has been one of the premier high school bats for this year's draft and he matched up against another PG All-American in TNXL righthander Joe Charles. Callihan, a South Carolina signee, came away hitless in the matchup but he still showed off the offensive tools along with some defensive highlights while he manned shortstop. The lefthanded hitting infielder is extremely physical, mostly contributing to his defensive time over at the hot corner during the summer months but lining up at shortstop during the spring. He looked balanced with solid actions that, admittedly, should play best at third base at the next level, with an above average arm. He made a couple of solid plays in the game, one such sliding to get to a ground ball and recording the out successfully.

The swing has the look of a classic lefty stroke with looseness, whip and lots of natural loft. Charles was up to 96 mph during this outing and Callihan was behind of a couple swings with two popouts and a strikeout looking. The tools are certainly there and his discipline and balance in the box were notable, and Callihan has a mountain of a track record for a high school bat, which should make him highly coveted in June.

Nathan Hickey, C, Providence HS (Fla.)
Callihan's teammate Nathan Hickey is also a strong prospect in his own right as a lefthanded swinging catcher with good arm strength and lots of hitterish traits in the box. The Florida signee is a physical backstop with prototypical size and his lefthanded bat combined with his skills behind the dish make him a very intriguing option in this year's draft. Hickey also did not collect a hit in three plate appearances with two walks and a strikeout on the afternoon. He has a very wide set up in the box with an inward toe tap into his base with a timing scheduled hand hitch that looks really well when it's on time. There's good present bat speed and he's looking to get his hands out in front even though he didn't put a ball in play. The skills behind the plate showed out well too, particularly the arm strength, as he nailed a runner trying to steal second base in the middle innings. 

Joseph Charles, RHP, TNXL Academy (Fla.)
Charles, a PG All-American, turned in a strong performance with five full innings on the mound, working up to 96 mph in the first inning, and though some command issues arose in the first inning he went and threw a good amount of strikes after that. A North Carolina signee, Charles has one of the more electric arms in this year's draft on the high school end and he turned in a quality performance against a quality team, keeping a good streak going as he appears to be peaking at the right time in the draft cycle. 

A physical righthanded pitcher, Charles has the look of a pro prospect already with his advanced frame, broad shoulders and a relatively simple delivery. There's pretty of arm speed present with a bit of an unorthodox arm action and a longer stride that will get drifty at times and cause the arm stroke to be late coming through the back. This leads to some command issues at times that Charles endured through, with three walks in the first inning, but he only walked one other hitter after the first frame. 

The fastball worked 93-96 mph in the first inning before Charles settled into more of a 91-94 mph range and held that well throughout the outing. He would show good life on his two-seam with action to the arm side, and the last pitch he threw on the day was an elevated 94 mph heater to pick up a strikeout on the final batter he faced. The curveball was inconsistent at times in terms of Charles' release point but the pitch flashed plus with good power and bite. It worked in the 77-81 mph range but with late breaking action that helps it function well as a present out-pitch. 

Carson Montgomery, RHP, Windermere HS (Fla.)
Montgomery has established himself as one of the premier prospects for next year's draft class as he's a righthanded pitcher with plenty of present fastball velocity and a hard breaking ball, and he will also be 17 on draft day. The righthander worked very quickly over four strong innings and really just made everything look extremely easy on the mound. 

The Florida State commit has some serious arm speed and operates from a longer arm stroke in the back but the delivery looks overall a bit more compact and with better direction toward the plate than he did last year. The arm stroke is loose and quick through the circle with a very athletic frame and immense projection moving forward, especially considering Montgomery is still 16 years old. 

He worked 90-93 mph for the first three innings, mixing in some hard life on the fastball when working with his two-seam fastball. The pitch is tough to square as is and Montgomery's command seems to be coming along nicely as he kept most of the pitches low in the zone with some feel for the corners too. The fastball got some swings-and-misses on the day and the velocity dipped mostly at the 88-90 mph mark for his fourth inning of work. 

The slider is Montgomery's out-pitch, not needing to throw it very often but showing very good power and sharp, late break. The late break is what makes it so devastating as the pitch is also coming in hard in the 81-83 mph range. He flashed a changeup once at 79 mph to a lefthanded hitter and he didn't turn it over and was just left outside the plate and up for a ball. Montgomery has all the makings of one of the top prospects in the class and at No. 11 in the 2020 rankings he looks poised for a strong summer. 

– Vincent Cervino

D'Andre Smith, MIF, San Dimas HS (Calif.)
Smith has developed a bit over the past year, adding noticeable strength in lower half. He's made big improvements in arm strength as well, putting a potential future over at shortstop in play. Smith works good at-bats looking to drive balls early in counts but willing to take a pitch. The Southern California commit uses a whole-field approach and barreled up two pitches in this look, including a double to the wall in left field. Twitchy and athletic he showed good actions and moved around well. He also showed good instincts reading balls and has solid foot speed that plays up due to strong instincts.

Isaiah Marquez, OF, San Dimas HS (Calif.)
Marquez has a strong, athletic and muscular build with definition presently in his lower half. He's really been on a tear offensively as he won outstanding offensive player in the National Classic and showed his strength hitting a home run to center field in this look. The Saint Mary's commit has a solid base at the plate and a quiet approach holding his hands pretty high. He shows some bat speed and ends with a high finish while consistently showing a knack for barreling balls.

Zach Jacobs, RHP, San Dimas HS (Calif.)
Jacobs turned in a brief look working three innings before a big rivalry game on Saturday against Charter Oak. He worked mostly mid- to upper 80s (he has been up to 90) in this look where he tossed three perfect frames with five strikeouts. Physically Jacobs has a thin frame and should add velocity as his body matures and could really blossom as he has advanced pitchability and four pitches. He relied on the fastball-curveball combination during this look, featuring a fastball with very good arm-side run and sink that he gets on both halves of the plate. Jacobs really wore out the glove-side corner to righthand batters and is signed with UC Riverside.  

Jacob Gonzalez, SS, Glendora HS (Calif.)
Gonzalez has a long, thin athletic frame and moves pretty well. He may have to move off of short as he fills out, as he should put on a good 15 or so pounds the next few years. Gonzalez is a two-sport athlete that plays quarterback on football team, and while this appearance didn't provide a great look at his arm at shortstop, he pitched and got his fastball up to 88 mph. The Ole Miss commit has a good approach from the left side of the batter's, and while he has worked the opposite field often in previous looks it was encouraging to see him turn on balls in this showing, driving balls with authority particularly when he launched a double to the right field wall. Jacobs has a similar profile to former PG All-American Ben Ramirez as a lefthanded hitting infielder with a thin frame.

– Steve Fiorindo

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